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JMBM Tax Newsletter: JMBM's Trust And Estate Litigation Group Successfully resolving disputes through experience, advocacy and personal attention

Disputes can often arise in the administration of a trust or a probate estate, especially when there are substantial amounts of money involved or when family conflict is present. These disputes can arise between beneficiaries, between a trustee or other fiduciary and beneficiaries, or from third parties.

JMBM’s trusts and estates lawyers intentionally foster a consultative relationship with our clients to help them avoid disputes when possible and to resolve disputes efficiently. It has been our experience that this approach allows our clients to anticipate potential issues earlier and to handle them more expeditiously, and often more favorably.

Our attorneys have a long track record of successfully resolving these disputes using informal means, which saves valuable time and money and enables individuals to avoid unwanted attention. When litigation proves unavoidable, JMBM’s experienced trust and estates litigation attorneys have successfully prosecuted and defended clients’ interests, both before the courts and in arbitration.

Who we represent
In trust and probate litigation, JMBM is experienced in representing both beneficiaries and fiduciaries, including high-net-worth individuals and their families, corporate trustees such as banks and trust companies, executors, trustees, administrators and other fiduciaries, as well as non-profit organizations. Many of our individual clients are well-known entrepreneurs, business owners and entertainment talent, and we value the trust they place in us to protect their personal and financial affairs from public scrutiny. JMBM regularly represents the “who’s who” of corporate fiduciaries, including regional leaders and Fortune 500 financial institutions.

JMBM’s trust and estate litigation attorneys combine in-depth understanding of trust and estate law with decades of experience in litigation procedure and tactics, much of which is unique to trust and estate disputes. The end result is a more expert, more efficient and more responsive advocate. We also draw upon the breadth of substantive knowledge within JMBM, to advise on special aspects of a given dispute, including tax, environmental, intellectual property, real estate and corporate law. Whether it is probate or civil court, including appeals, our clients benefit from our decades of experience in handling trust and estate litigation matters, in and out of the courtroom.

Our Experience
Our experience includes litigating trusts and probated disputes involving claims for breach of fiduciary duty, claims for breach of duty of loyalty, environmental claims, investment claims, beneficiary disputes, contested heirship, pretermitted and adopted heirs, charitable pledge disputes, disputed creditor claims, judicial construction and modification of wills and trusts, will and trust contests, will and trust validity, capacity, undue influence, elder abuse, contested powers of attorney, contested accountings, fraudulent transfers, partition actions, spousal right of election, wrongful death recovery, family and estate management disputes, conservatorships and guardianships, among other issues.

Our Commitment
Trust and estate litigation requires skilled and experienced counsel that can understand and appreciate both the intricate and often complex legal and financial issues involved as well as the delicate and often emotional nature of these cases. JMBM has the experience and the expertise, and is committed to providing its clients with the highest level of personal service, while maintaining the utmost discretion.

We would be pleased to discuss how we can help resolve your dispute.

Gordon Schaller is Chairman of the Trust and Estate Litigation Group at Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro LLP. Mr. Schaller has been a prominent tax and estate planning attorney in Southern California for over 30 years. Gordon focuses his practice on tax, estate planning, business succession, charitable and wealth management services and trust and estate litigation. For more information, please contact him at 714.429.8208 or